THE COMMONS – PUBLIC GOOD netCommons is a Horizon2020 research project, which follows a novel transdisciplinary methodology on treating network infrastructure as commons, for resiliency, sustainability, self-determination, and social integration. Project partners have expertise in engineering, computer science, economics, law, political science, urban, media, and social studies; and close links with successful Community Networks like,, and

GMpage/article 2020 the challenge of reclaiming the commons from capitalism – Dirk Philipsen 9-2020 Is data nonrivalrous? Will Rinehart

A recent paper published in the American Economic Review has reignited interest in data property rights. In “Nonrivalry and the Economics of Data,” economists Charles I. Jones and Christopher Tonetti generate insights on data property regimes by beginning first with a simple model of data. After articulating the idea within a model of the economy, the authors can conclude, “Giving data property rights to consumers can generate allocations that are close to optimal.” These conclusions hinge on how the authors define both data and rivalry.

Jones and Tonetti are upfront in their goals in that the “paper develops a theoretical framework to study the economics of data.” Continuing, they write, “the starting point for our analysis is the observation that data is nonrival. That is, at a technological level, data is infinitely usable.”

The concept of rivalrous goods was first laid out by Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom in a book chapter titled, “Public Goods and Public Choices.” Previous to this work, economists like Samuelson and Musgrave emphasized exclusion. Where individuals could be excluded from using a good, those goods were considered private goods, while everything else was considered a public good. Radio and TV stations were the classic examples used to understand these public goods.

The Ostroms added another dimension to public goods by introducing the concept of subtractability. Now often referred to as rivalry, subtractability describes goods where one person’s use subtracts from or prevents the use of that good by another. The following two by two square that resulted from the Ostrom’s work is a common method of understanding goods today.

Source: Living Economics

The ultimate aim of the Ostroms was to cleave public goods into two parts to study their differences. Non-rivalrous public goods like over-the-air TV were bifurcated from their rivalrous common pool counterparts like fisheries and access to water supplies. Elinor Ostrom ultimately received the Nobel in economics for her subsequent work on the governance of common pool resources.

The concept of rivalry has been foundational to information economics, but there are still problems in translation. While the Ostroms used the concept as an organizing principle, Jones and Tonetti built the idea into the core of their economic world. First, they make a distinction between information and data …”           more at

researchgate/gm-pdf 2017 The Foundational economy: The infrastructure of everyday life – by Davide Arcidiacono, Filippo Barbera, Andrew Bowman, John Buchanan

This book originally published in English in 2018 synthesises the collective’s work of the previous five years in developing the foundational approach. It should now be read in conjunction with our The Foundational Approach (2020) guide to current thinking. But the book remains an important source for engaged citizens, active practitioners, and critical academics beyond who want to know more about the foundational economy concept and its relevance to the politics of progressive reform.

The book is relevant to all of Europe and beyond and is available as an accessibly priced paper back in four languages. MUP, publishes in English with German and Italian editions available from Suhrkamp and Einaudi. The Portuguese edition was published by Actual Editora and Dutch and Turkish translations are pending. Before you buy the book, do read our introductory chapter on this web site which explains the argument of the book here.